Romania’s longest-serving exchange BTCxChange reportedly closed down on May 1, on the country’s equivalent of Labor Day.
“We inform you that starting from 1st of May 2018, our platform will be closed. Operations stopped back on 1st of February but you could still stock your Bitcoin on your platform. Please withdraw all your balances before the 1st of May,” the team said on its website.
BTCxChange was contacted several times on multiple phone numbers but they refused to answer calls for comments. The situation is a bit suspicious in regards to Romania’s crypto currency ecosystem isn’t as harsh as that of India or China. But the country does not have anti-money laundering laws (AML) and its banks are required to follow EU AML directives.
Max Nicula, BTCxChange’s CEO recently closed down fiat trades because its bank account was suddenly shut down four times within a 12 month period.
Nicula had earlier written that “On January 22, our company received a notice from Idea Bank, informing us that our bank accounts will be closed within 15 days (although legally, we should have gotten 60). It is our fourth bank account closed in the last 12 months. We made the decision not to open any new bank accounts. The reason for this decision is that the constant hunt for new accounts and lack of a stable banking solution would hurt our business development significantly.”
The continuous problems the exchange had with the Bucharest bank was probably the motive behind Nicula’s decision to shut down. It is uncertain if this situation is permanent or not but the chaos might get to Nicula either way. Since BTCxChange was no longer able to maintain liquidity as a result of its missing fiat funds, it had to close down.
However, this probably wasn’t the banks fault as the country’s tax agency –ANAF- is known for instantly freezing people’s accounts without a warning until they pay taxes that they allegedly owe. Sometimes certain people have been found to owe little no tax than what the tax agency alleges